Seminar Series: Friday, September 16, 2016 at 11:00 A.M.

JSNN Seminar Series

Title: “Nanocatalyst Development for Fuels at NCAT-NSF-CREST Bioenergy Center.”

Speaker: Debasish Kuila, Ph.D.
Research Director/Professor
NSF-CREST Bioenergy Center
North Carolina A&T State University

Date and Time: Friday, 9/16/2016, 11:00 A.M.
Location: JSNN Auditorium

2907 E. Gate City Blvd., Greensboro, NC 27401


Thermal conversion of biomass into fuels is the major focus of research at our NSF-CREST Bioenergy center. Biomass gasification produces syngas (CO:H2) that is converted into fuels in the presence of catalysts by Fischer-Tropsch (F-T) synthesis. Silicon microchannel microreactors (50 μm x 100 μm)  provide a relatively simple and rapid  means for screening F-T catalysts. While the  highest conversion of CO, ~78% at 220 °C,  can be obtained by adding only 0.4 wt.% Ru to Fe-Co/SiO2, the stability studies with each individual catalyst show that Co is more stable than Ru or Fe [1].

We are also developing novel steam reforming catalysts for H2 production that is purified using a membrane for fuel cell applications.  In order to understand the significance of metal-support interaction on pure H2 production, we have synthesized several high surface area mesoporous TiO¬2 and SiO2 (MCM-41) supported  Cu, Co, Ni, Pd, Sn and Zn catalyst  using one-pot procedure and tested for steam reforming of methanol (SRM). The catalysts exhibited surface area, and pore sizes in the range of 99-1039 m2/g, and 2.63-4.69 nm, respectively, based on the nature of the metal and the support. Remarkable differences in activities of M-TiO2 and M-MCM-41 catalysts based on metal-support interactions  and metals are observed [2-4].  The steam reforming (SR) studies have now been extended to glycerol. The highlights of our on-going SR studies at 650 °C using MCM-41 and SBA-15 supported Co- and Ni-nanocatalysts  and their stability  studies will be presented.


  1. Mehta S., Deshmane V., Zhao S. and Kuila D. Industrial Engineering Chemistry Research, 2014, 53 (42), pp 16245–16253.
  2. V. G. Deshmane, R. Y. Abrokwah and D. Kuila.. Int. J of Hydrogen Energy. 2015, 40:10439-10452.
  3. V. G. Deshmane, S. Owen, R. Y. Abrokwah and D. Kuila. J. Mol. Catal. A: Chem., 2015, 408:202-213.
  4. R. Abrokwah, V. Deshmane and D. Kuila. Revised Manuscript submitted to Journal of Molecular Catalysis A: Chemical, 2016 (ID: MOLCAA-D-16-00109).


Dr. Kuila is the Research Director/Professor of NSF-CREST Bioenergy Center and previous Chair of chemistry at NC A&T. He is an affiliate of JSNN and an adjunct professor of Wake Forest School of Medicine. He was an associate professor at Louisiana Tech and spent over 10 years at Hoechst Celanese and Great Lakes Chemical Corporations and Purdue University.  He received his B.Sc. in Chemistry (Hons.) from U of Calcutta, M.Sc. from IIT in Madras, his Ph.D. from SUNY in NY, and did his postdoctoral work at The University of Michigan, Los Alamos National Lab and Northwestern University. His research spans from materials/biomaterials, drug delivery, drug toxicity, cell biology, biosensors to catalysis. He is the recipient of the Interdisciplinary Research Team Award, has 12 US Patents/applications and more than 60 publications and continues to be a keynote and plenary speaker for numerous international conferences.